Mryia K Hubert
Bio: Mryia K Hubert is an academic researcher from University of Wisconsin-Madison. The author has contributed to research in topics: Health care & Parnassius clodius. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 1 publications receiving 4 citations.
TL;DR: It is suggested that elements of butterfly wing phenotypes respond independently to different sources of selection and that thermoregulation is an important driver of phenotypic differentiation in Parnassian butterflies.
Abstract: Colour pattern has served as an important phenotype in understanding the process of natural selection, particularly in brightly coloured and variable species like butterflies. However, different selective forces operate on aspects of colour pattern, for example by favouring warning colours in eyespots or alternatively favoring investment in thermoregulatory properties of melanin. Additionally, genetic drift influences colour phenotypes, especially in populations undergoing population size change. Here, we investigated the relative roles of genetic drift and ecological selection in generating the phenotypic diversity of the butterfly Parnassius clodius. Genome-wide patterns of single nucleotide polymorphism data show that P. clodius forms three population clusters, which experienced a period of population expansion following the last glacial maximum and have since remained relatively stable in size. After correcting for relatedness, morphological variation is best explained by climatic predictor variables, suggesting ecological selection generates trait variability. Solar radiation and precipitation are both negatively correlated with increasing total melanin in both sexes, supporting a thermoregulatory function of melanin. Similarly, wing size traits are significantly larger in warmer habitats for both sexes, supporting a Converse Bergmann Rule pattern. Bright red coloration is negatively correlated with temperature seasonality and solar radiation in males, and weakly associated with insectivorous avian predators in univariate models, providing mixed evidence that selection is linked to warning coloration and predator avoidance. Together, these results suggest that elements of butterfly wing phenotypes respond independently to different sources of selection and that thermoregulation is an important driver of phenotypic differentiation in Parnassian butterflies.
TL;DR: In this paper , the authors used the precaution adoption process model (PAPM) to assess the level of engagement in health behaviors of individuals in order to identify individuals at risk of hereditary cancer.
Abstract: It is challenging to identify individuals at risk of a hereditary cancer syndrome as it requires assessment of both personal and family health history, the latter of which may not be routinely collected and/or updated by healthcare providers. A possible solution is to use a patient-facing computer platform that electronically collects family health history (FHH) information for hereditary cancer syndromes and other health conditions. This could improve genomic healthcare by identifying at-risk individuals in a health system. As our capacity to develop electronic tools to engage patients and identify those in need of genetic services increases, it is important to assess whether patients will choose to participate. Engagement in health behaviors can be studied using the framework of the Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM). The PAPM describes the process of decision-making in which individuals can be placed in stages of readiness to adopt a new behavior. This model can be used to stage those who are engaged in the process of making health decisions, unengaged in that they are not interested in being part of the decision-making process, or unaware of the decision that needs to be made. Engagement in healthcare may also be conceptualized as the consequence of cognitive, internal engagement with a health topic, sufficient to motivate action. We report on the early phases of the NCI funded Family History and Cancer Risk Study (FOREST) which was initiated to improve identification of high-risk patients and access to hereditary cancer services for the general adult patient population at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). We aimed to assess participation in the stages from recruitment to completion of the computerized FHH tool and describe participant characteristics that could influence their level of engagement in the process of learning more about their risks for cancer. VUMC patients who previously agreed to be contacted about research opportunities were sent an invitation through their health portal to participate in FOREST. The message directed them to a pre-screen survey through REDCap, a HIPAA secure online survey tool, to determine eligibility and willingness to participate. Eligible patients then completed eConsent and a baseline survey prior to completing the FHH questionnaire. FHH was collected using MeTree, a platform developed by Duke University. Once this survey was complete, participants were then provided the link to the FHH platform. Upon completion, the platform created a personalized patient report with hereditary cancer risks and included evidence-based clinical decision support for the healthcare provider (HCP). IRB approval was granted for this project. Guided by the framework of the PAPM, we asked participants about their stage of readiness to learn more about their risk for cancer on the pre-screen survey. We included an assessment of internal engagement on the baseline survey by asking participants how often they think about their risk to develop cancer. Also included on the baseline survey were questions that assessed several variables hypothesized to predict engagement level. To analyze the data, we determined the number of individuals who completed each stage of the study procedure from recruitment to the completion of the FHH questionnaire. We then calculated the frequency and mean for variables of interest on the pre-screen and baseline surveys. Between October 2021 and November 2021, a total of 1650 patients received an electronic invitation to join the study. Approximately 16% (256) expressed interest in participating. Among these individuals, 3.9% (10) completed the pre-screen survey but were ineligible due to having a serious condition that requires hospice or long-term care or having already been seen at the Vanderbilt Hereditary Cancer Clinic in the past, 5.5% (14) completed the pre-screen survey but did not sign the consent form, and 36.3% (93) completed the pre-screen survey and the consent form to participate in the study. Of the consented participants, 98.9% (92) completed the baseline survey and 28.0% (26) completed the FHH questionnaire. Among consented participants, 2.2% (2) indicated that they don’t know how to learn about their risk for cancer and 97.8% (91) indicated they are interested in learning more about their risk for cancer. When asked how often they think about their risk of developing cancer 9.8% (9) indicated never, 33.7% (31) indicated once a year, 45.7% (42) indicated once a month, 7.6% (7) indicated once a week, and 3.3% (3) indicated every day. Participants were asked to report their level of health and 0% (0) reported poor, 10.9% (10) reported fair, 41.3% (38) reported good, 38.0% (35) reported very good, and 9.8% (9) reported excellent. On a Likert scale with 1 being no control and 5 being complete control, participants reported an of average of 3.7 on how much they are able to control their health, an average of 3.3 on how much doctors are able to control their health, and an average of 2.8 on how much faith, luck, and fate are able to control their health. Participants answered an average of 3 out of 5 of the genetics knowledge questions correctly (M=3.9). Most participants recognized that both genetics and behavior contribute to developing disease - 70.7% of participant cited health behaviors as contributing a lot to disease, whereas 32.6 % felt that genetics contributes a lot to disease. Individuals who entered and completed this study had a high level of engagement, as evidenced by the fact that most participants indicated that they were interested in learning about their cancer risk and reported that they were actively thinking about their risk for cancer at least once a month. Beliefs and perceptions of health, an individual’s health locus of control, may be a factor in decisions to participate in health improvement activities. Our study showed that participants predominantly endorsed the belief that their behaviors are a major influence over their health, consistent with an internal locus of control. In this study we demonstrated that participants were engaged and generally interested in advancing through the process of the study. The next steps should include analysis of the relationships between those who competed the FHH questionnaire and those who chose not to continue on in the study.
TL;DR: The Nebria ingens complex (Coleoptera: Carabidae), a water‐affiliated ground beetle lineage, is used to test how drainage basins are linked to their observed population structure and it is found that the major drainage systems of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California best explain the population structure of the N. ingen complex.
Abstract: The evolutionary histories of alpine species are often directly associated with responses to glaciation. Deep divergence among populations and complex patterns of genetic variation have been inferred as consequences of persistence within glacier boundaries (i.e., on nunataks), while shallow divergence and limited genetic variation are assumed to result from expansion from large refugia at the edge of ice shields (i.e., massifs de refuge). However, for some species, dependence on specific microhabitats could profoundly influence their spatial and demographic response to glaciation, and such a simple dichotomy may obscure the localization of actual refugia. In this study, we use the Nebria ingens complex (Coleoptera: Carabidae), a water-affiliated ground beetle lineage, to test how drainage basins are linked to their observed population structure. By analysing mitochondrial COI gene sequences and genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms, we find that the major drainage systems of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California best explain the population structure of the N. ingens complex. In addition, we find that an intermediate morphotype within the N. ingens complex is the product of historical hybridization of N. riversi and N. ingens in the San Joaquin basin during glaciation. This study highlights the importance of considering ecological preferences in how species respond to climate fluctuations and provides an explanation for discordances that are often observed in comparative phylogeographical studies.
TL;DR: It is shown that novel white alleles in Neodiprion lecontei (pine sawfly) larvae spread via selection rather than drift, and bottom-up selection via host plants may drive divergence among populations as white larvae were disproportionately abundant on a pine species with a reduced carotenoid content relative to other pine hosts.
Abstract: Our understanding of how novel color traits evolve in aposematic taxa is based largely on studies of reproductive stages and organisms with endogenously produced pigmentation. In these systems, genetic drift is often required for novel alleles to overcome strong purifying selection stemming from frequency-dependent predation and positive assortative mating. Here we show that the importance of these mechanisms can differ if selective processes are considered in larval stage instead. By integrating population genomic data, predation experiments and phenotypic measurements of larvae and their host plants, we show that novel white alleles in Neodiprion lecontei (pine sawfly) larvae spread via selection rather than drift. The cost of being rare was not offset by an enhanced aposematic display or immune function. Instead, bottom-up selection via host plants may drive divergence among populations as white larvae were disproportionately abundant on a pine species with a reduced carotenoid content relative to other pine hosts.
TL;DR: In this article , the authors integrate data from field surveys, predation experiments, population genomics, and phenotypic correlations to explain the origin and maintenance of geographic variation in a diet-based larval pigmentation trait in the redheaded pine sawfly (Neodiprion lecontei), a pine feeding hymenopteran.
Abstract: Our understanding of how novel warning color traits evolve in natural populations is largely based on studies of reproductive stages and organisms with endogenously produced pigmentation. In these systems, genetic drift is often required for novel alleles to overcome strong purifying selection stemming from frequency‐dependent predation and positive assortative mating. Here, we integrate data from field surveys, predation experiments, population genomics, and phenotypic correlations to explain the origin and maintenance of geographic variation in a diet‐based larval pigmentation trait in the redheaded pine sawfly (Neodiprion lecontei), a pine‐feeding hymenopteran. Although our experiments confirm that N. lecontei larvae are indeed aposematic—and therefore likely to experience frequency‐dependent predation—our genomic data do not support a historical demographic scenario that would have facilitated the spread of an initially deleterious allele via drift. Additionally, significantly elevated differentiation at a known color locus suggests that geographic variation in larval color is currently maintained by selection. Together, these data suggest that the novel white morph likely spread via selection. However, white body color does not enhance aposematic displays, nor is it correlated with enhanced chemical defense or immune function. Instead, the derived white‐bodied morph is disproportionately abundant on a pine species with a reduced carotenoid content relative to other pine hosts, suggesting that bottom‐up selection via host plants may have driven divergence among populations. Overall, our results suggest that life stage and pigment source can have a substantial impact on the evolution of novel warning signals, highlighting the need to investigate diverse aposematic taxa to develop a comprehensive understanding of color variation in nature.
TL;DR: A large‐scale comparative phylogeographical study on three Argynnini butterfly species that have similar life histories, but differ in ecological generalism and dispersal abilities shows that the species share similar colonization histories, and that the same ecological factors covary with genetic differentiation within these species to some extent.
Abstract: Understanding which factors and processes are associated with genetic differentiation within and among species remains a major goal in evolutionary biology. To explore differences and similarities in genetic structure and its association with geographical and climatic factors in sympatric sister species, we conducted a large‐scale (>32° latitude and >36° longitude) comparative phylogeographical study on three Argynnini butterfly species (Speyeria aglaja, Fabriciana adippe and F. niobe) that have similar life histories, but differ in ecological generalism and dispersal abilities. Analyses of nuclear (ddRAD‐sequencing derived SNP markers) and mitochondrial (COI sequences) data revealed differences between species in genetic structure and how genetic differentiation was associated with climatic factors (temperature, solar radiation, precipitation, wind speed). Geographical proximity accounted for much of the variation in nuclear and mitochondrial structure and evolutionary relationships in F. adippe and F. niobe, but only explained the pattern observed in the nuclear data in S. aglaja, for which mitonuclear discordance was documented. In all species, Iberian and Balkan individuals formed genetic clusters, suggesting isolation in glacial refugia and limited postglacial expansion. Solar radiation and precipitation were associated with the genetic structure on a regional scale in all species, but the specific combinations of environmental and geographical factors linked to variation within species were unique, pointing to species‐specific responses to common environments. Our findings show that the species share similar colonization histories, and that the same ecological factors, such as niche breadth and dispersal capacity, covary with genetic differentiation within these species to some extent, thereby highlighting the importance of comparative phylogeographical studies in sympatric sister species.